October 27, 2011

WTA Championships off With a Bang

Turkey is new to hosting the WTA Championships, but the first two days have gone down as a success.

The year-end tournament brings together the top eight players in women’s tennis to Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome. The biggest tennis tournament Istanbul previously hosted was the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Istanbul Cup. From 2005 to last year, the WTA Championship boasted important names, including Venus Williams, Elena Dementieva, Francesca Schiavone and Agnieszka Radwanska, but it was usually played in front of empty seats.

This is the first time Istanbul is hosting the tournament, as the competition was held in Doha, Qatar, for the last three years. But the WTA Championships have shown Turkey’s newfound affection for the sport. More than 10,000 fans filled the arena to 80 percent capacity to watch Petra Kvitova meet Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki take on Radwanska and Maria Sharapova face Sam Stosur on Oct. 25. The figures were similar to yesterday’s turnout for the Stosur vs. Victoria Azarenka, Sharapova vs. Li Na and Wozniacki vs. Zvonareva matches.

Zvonareva is among those who heaped praise on the atmosphere.

“It’s a great atmosphere to be in,” she said after losing in straight sets to Wimbledon champion Kvitova. “I didn’t expect something like this.”

Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: WTA Championships off With a Bang


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